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4.7 out of 5 stars26
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 14 October 2013
Live albums aren't really my cup of tea. Bum notes, muddled words and drunken choruses which transport you to somewhere more akin to a football stadium than a concert hall are usually long-awaited and disappointing. Not so this one! From the first spine-tingling intro into Hideaway I was transported to my chintzy, Harley-poster-covered bedroom. Blimey. I can smell joss sticks and Three Wishes bubble bath already! I listened to both Human Menagerie and Psychomodo on a small mono record player in my teens but now these songs recorded live in Birmingham last year have a new energy. They're not better but they are different to the original recordings and of course as an added bonus there's a couple of new songs included. If you missed the live show in Birmingham buy it. But note there's another chance to see the same (though it's never the same, is it?) in Manchester next Year in April. If you were there in Birmingham, as I was, it's a great reminder of a fantastic night where Steve and his usual entourage were joined by guest saxophonist Spandau Ballet's Steve Norman, The Orchestra of the Swan and the Chamber Choir. They pulled out all the stops for the crowd and Steve, ever the professional gave us all he had. He said as they launched into Hideaway at the beginning of the night "We'd better deliver now" They did.....and how!
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 20 October 2013
In a weekend of listening to live albums this one takes the prize. Beautifully recorded, beautifully played and beautifully sung, the addition of choir and orchestra lend majesty to tracks such as Sebastian which is probably my favourite in the set. I can understand a previous reviewer's frustration at the lack of between song speech on the album but for me I'm mainly here for the music so actually welcome the editing and the odd bits of banter that have been retained help hold the piece together in a coherent way. Maybe an extra "all inclusive" version might be released so that we all can be catered for.
Oh and I notice that Amazon in their infinite wisdom have done their occasional and annoying trick and lumped DVD reviews in with ones for the music album. Not exactly helpful of course but I think the general gist is that DVD or album, this is a very nice piece of work. Recommended!
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on 3 November 2013
I'm a life-long Steve Harley fan so my judgement is a little biased, but I never did manage to get tickets for this unique show the other year. I SO wish I'd been in the audience. Mr Harley has never bettered his first live album (Face To Face) wish has such an emotional attachment. This doesn't beat it but it's not far off. Steve H recreates his entire first two COCKNEY REBEL albums here, as has been the thing to do for many 70s/80s band of late. DEATH TRIP still shines after almost 40 years. It's a song everyone should hear at least once in their lifetime because then they'd discover once is never enough. I miss the Face To Face flow of TUMBLIN' DOWN into MAKE ME SMILE but that clearly wasn't the intention for this concert. And of course sadly we don't get some of his other true gems here like SEBASTIAN (MIKE BATT production), STAR FOR A WEEK, and the one that slipped away and gets totally forgotten about, HEARTBEAT LIKE THUNDER (the original SEBASTIAN is here in all its glory). But maybe at his next concert,Steve will give those tracks a thought and an airing. For all Steve Harley fans this is a FIVE STAR album, for others at least a FOUR STAR LIVE....
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on 16 November 2013
This is a truly delightful album! Whilst I can understand one reviewers point of view that Steve's commentary shouldn't have been edited in the way that it has, the arrangements of these two classic albums is fantastic! Fan or just discovering Mr Harley for the first time, you cannot be anything but impressed by his still unique vocal qualities. My only recommendation is buy it and book a ticket for the 2014 gigs!
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VINE VOICEon 15 February 2016
The material and performances are fine - the orchestration is excellent, with Crazy Jane an outstanding example, and the keyboard playing is remarkable . If the sound engineers had been paying full atention, this would have been a really memorable recording. Harley is a fine musician and, knowing the limitations of his voice due to age, had made changes in his performance - realising that he could not sustain lines in the old way, dropping a octave where necessary, chopping and changing where the demands were too great, and improvising where necessary. The engineers all too often seem to have left things on automatic; sometimes the voice/orchestral balance is so poor that we cannot hear the words, and Harley's words are always important; his diction is as impeccable as ever. I think the masters should be re-visited and a re-balanced version produced. I haven't seen the DVD; perhaps the sound is better.
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on 2 December 2013
I think Steve is holding out a lot better than other greats from early seventies.
Well done Steve great to hear these albums live.
My sons middle is Sebastian after one of your masterpieces. Stay your way.
Martin from Cardiff.
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on 21 November 2013
A good reproductioon of the concert almost back to original version at least it sounded like it enjoyed the CD good sound
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on 6 December 2013
A night we all looked forward to, and it lived up to all our expectations. The cd captures the night perfectly.
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on 31 October 2013
Have been following his music since 1974, both recorded and live performances - well over one hundred times in the UK and once in the Netherlands for a live TV recording. This was a fantanstic night and cant wait for a repeat in Machester in April 2014.
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on 20 July 2014
One of the most disappointing Harley concerts I have ever seen and I have been to many. From the very first song where Steve forgot the lyrics it was just one catastrophe after another. So many mistakes and then comments about other artists who use prompts for lyrics. What is truly sad is that the songs are magnificent and deserve more than this treatment!! HOWEVER I have been to two concerts since. Why?? Because I am addicted to the songs and need an annual fix !! Thankfully there was done sort of IPAD at the front and no mistakes were made which was fab because the second concert was at the Royal Albert Hall! It was magnificent to hear the songs treated with the dignity they deserve!! It is also interesting to read what Harley thought if the first Birmingham Concert. It certainly backed up my criticism!!
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